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Site number:
Type of site: Natural
Date: -
Date of Inscription: 1993
Location: Asia, Japan, Kamiyaku-cho and Yaku-cho, Kumage-gun Kagoshima Prefecture
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Description: Located at the meeting-point of the palaearctic and oriental biotic regions, in the interior of Yaku Island, Yakushima is prosperous with flora, with some 1,900 species and subspecies, among them even ancient specimens of the Japanese cedar - sugi. It also holds a warm-temperate ancient forest vestige - unique in this region. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Yakushima (屋久島?) is an island of about 500km² and roughly 15 000 islanders to the south of Kyūshū in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The Vincennes Strait (Yakushima Kaikyō) separates it from Tanegashima. The highest point on the island is Miyanoura-dake at 1,935 meters (6,360 feet). It is covered in dense forest noted especially for old growth Cryptomeria trees known as Sugi in Japan and magnificent Rhododendrons. Yakushima's unique remnant of a warm-temperate ancient forest is a natural World Heritage Site since 1993. It is said to rain "35 days a month". Precipiation is one of the worlds highest at 4000 to 10 000 mm. There are in fact dry periods in autumn and winter, while heaviest downpours occur in spring and summer often accompanied by landslides. It is the southernmost place in Japan where there is snow in the mountains, often for months, while the ocean temperature is never below 19°C. The "pristine" Yakusugi Forest of Manga fame is visited by 300,000 tourists every year. It is said to have inspired the forest setting in Hayao Miyazaki's film Princess Mononoke. The island was also seen in the 1996 movie Rebirth of Mothra where Mothra Leo laid his cocoons on one of the trees there. The island has been a test site for Honda's hydrogen fuel cell vehicle research. Yakushima's electricity is more than 50% hydroelectric, and surplus power has been used to produce hydrogen gas in a small experiment by Kagoshima University. There are no hydrogen cars stationed on the island but a few electric cars are run by the municipality. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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